Florida is a "no fault" divorce state. This means that either spouse may seek a divorce without showing cause for the desired separation. The spouse seeking a divorce has the option to simply claim the marriage is "irretrievably broken." Generally, Jacksonville Florida courts are not concerned with which party played the greater role in causing the divorce. As a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney, I am often asked how a cheating spouse factors into a divorce in Florida. While adulterous conduct does not factor into the court's decision to grant a divorce, it can impact other important issues raised in a divorce. In child custody battles, a court considers the "moral fitness" of a parent seeking custody. Evidence of adulterous conduct can lower a party's level of "moral fitness," and decrease his or her chances of receiving custody. However, it is not an absolute bar to child custody. Often times, a larger impact will be whether the adultery had an adverse impact on the child. Additionally, Florida Law stipulates that adultery is a factor to be considered in determining the amount of alimony awarded. In short, a higher frequency of adulterous conduct by a cheating spouse can lead to a larger amount of alimony he or she will have to pay. If you are contemplating a divorce in Florida or have concerns about the impact of adulterous behavior on your divorce, contact a Florida Divorce Attorney today!
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